What’s your corncob?

Jun 1, 2017Work Uncaged

When our youngest, Julia, was two, she broke her arm, thus inaugurating her era of arm breaking. The first break involved a corncob.

She sat on her big girl chair, vice-gripping said corncob like it was gold, and she a hungry prospector. Butter dripped between her fingers, and she smiled. “My corn,” she said.

Except that she lost her balance as she squished kernels between chubby fingers and started




The logical thing to do? Let go of the corncob and break your fall with your hands.

But she could not let go. Not of her precious.

And so because she couldn’t let go, her arm hit the ground at a strange angle and broke.

I thought about that story today and wondered if I do the same. What in my life is my corncob? What do I vice-grip to my detriment? So often it’s fear. I hold it like it’s treasure, nurturing it, listening to it. But holding tight to fear gets me in trouble when I start falling, and my fears get realized. The very thing I grab becomes my demise. But if I had just let it go, I’d most likely right myself.

My corncob can be my running inner dialog about those fear. So many what ifs. So many “you better prepare for the worsts.” Here’s what I’m learning: what you concentrate on becomes your crutch, your fallback, your idol. The more I allow those fear-mongering voices, the more they gain power over me. They practically demand I keep them close, grab them to myself. And then I fall and break.

I see that in my career. I’ve tried very hard to make this publishing gig work. I’ve been a good girl. I’ve jumped through the hoops. But still fear persists because I can’t seem to make it all work, and I am tempted to be led by fear. Yesterday I thought, Why am I doing this? The more I hold on the less joy I have, the more agitated my soul becomes. Publishing has become my corncob–not writing, I’ll always be writing–but the behemoth that is the publishing machine. Perhaps it’s time to let go.

What about you? Here are some self-inventory questions:

  • What are you grabbing on so tightly to that you won’t be able to break your fall?
  • What do you sense God is asking you to let go of?
  • What do you naturally vice group when life careens helter-skelter?
  • What can’t you imagine your life without, yet that very thing saps you of joy?
  • What are your friends and family telling you?
  • What keeps you ruminating at night?

It’s time for us to name our corncob, then release our grip. In its place, Jesus will place peace, freedom from fear, and a new sense of well-being. Why not let go right now?


1 Comment

  1. Susan G.

    Thanks for this Mary.
    A good word!